Too Many Antibiotics are Being Given to Animals

The total number of antibiotics used in agriculture in the U.S. is still on the rise. The Union of Concerned Scientists alleges that 70 percent of this use is in animals that are vulnerable to disease due to crowded and unsanitary conditions.

This over-use of antibiotics is creating resistant bacteria, which kills 63,000 Americans each year.

Writing in the New York Times, Donald Kennedy, a former commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration, notes that:

“Agribusiness argues -- as it has for 30 years -- that livestock need to be given antibiotics to help them grow properly and keep them free of disease. But consider what has happened in Denmark ... when that country banned the use of antibiotics in farm animals except for therapeutic purposes. The reservoir of resistant bacteria in Danish livestock shrank considerably ...”

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